What is Itching?
Itching is a sensation that causes the desire or reflex to scratch. Itch has resisted many attempts to classify it as any one type of sensory experience. Modern science has shown that itch has many similarities to pain, and while both are unpleasant sensory experiences, their behavioral response patterns are different. Pain creates a withdrawal reflex while itch leads to a scratch reflex. Unmyelinated nerve fibers for itch and pain both originate in the skin; however, information for them is conveyed centrally in two distinct systems that both use the same nerve bundle and spinothalamic tract.
Exposure or contact with chemicals.
- Sunburn can cause itching.
- Insect bites or stings.
- Certain infectious diseases such as chicken pox cause itching on the skin.
- Parasites on the body such as body, head or pubic lice can cause itching.
- Itching can be the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods, plants or pets.
- Dry skin is a common cause for itching. This is usually seen in older people as aging skin is often dehydrated.
- Cold weather, overexposure to water and hot baths typically cause itching.
- An unfavorable medication could cause itching as a reaction.
- Skin conditions such as Psoriasis, Seborrheic dermatitis, Urticaria, Pityriasis rosea can cause severe itching.
- Tendency to scratch continually to relieve itching sensation
- Redness of skin
- Scraped skin as a result of vigorous scratching
- Prolonged scratching and rubbing can result in thick and scarred skin
- Red spots
- Scaly patches
- Avoid scratching or rubbing itchy areas as this worsens the problem. Keep finger nails short to prevent skin damage from scratching.
- Wear loose, light and cool nightwear. Do not use thick, rough clothing like wool over itchy areas.
- Take bath with lukewarm water.
- Apply a soothing lotion on to the skin after bath.
- Avoid exposure to heat and humidity.
- Keep your body and affected areas dry and clean at all times. Moisture can worsen itching.
Itching Home Remedies:
- Applications: Apply Aloe Vera, cod liver oil, lemon juice, vitamin E oil, wheat germ oil, or witch hazel tea to the itchy area.
- Apple cider: Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your bath water to relieve itchy skin.
- Baking soda: Baking soda can be used in cool bath water to soothe other skin irritations and alleviate itching from prickly heat, bee stings, insect bites, and other minor skin ailments.
- Cold compresses: Apply cold compress to the itchy areas, it is thought to bring relief from itching.
- Neem (Azadirachta indica): Boil neem leaves in sufficient water for 10-15 minutes. Taking bath with this water helps in curing many skin diseases including Itching.